Habitat for Humanity of Athens/Limestone County has had a challenging few years, which thankfully are just about wrapped up. One of the toughest parts of the rough patch was that the “builds,” the community-supported house building projects for qualifying families, had to be put on hold for a bit. However, Habitat is moving toward being able to start the builds back up, and there is no more fitting way for them to celebrate their 25th anniversary in Limestone County than by getting our community out on the “dance floor” at the Pincham-Lincoln Center at the Trinity-Fort Henderson Complex. “Trinity seemed a natural fit. They have been good to us, and we are excited to work with them,” said Deborah Kohlhase, the Executive Director of the Athens/Limestone County affiliate.
You say you don’t know how to dance? Well, Deb and her husband David Foreman – who is both an engineer and a certified ballroom dance instructor – are pleased to announce that Habitat is sponsoring a ten-week class for everyone in our community who is interested in learning Swing, Waltz, Foxtrot, and Rumba. All proceeds go to Habitat, and here is why you are going to celebrate your new skill. It’s found in the following statement:
As a faith-based organization, Habitat seeks to put God’s love into action and to bring people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Using volunteer labor and donations of money, materials, and services, Habitat builds and sells decent, affordable houses to people who would otherwise live in substandard conditions. Partner families are selected based on the level of need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner with Habitat.
The classes will begin Tuesday, March 21st, and will be from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The cost is $50.00 per person. You don’t need a partner, and the class size is limited to 20. I can say from experience that I watched Deb and David dance at Chili Challenge, and they are both very good. The classes are one of the ways Habitat is “trying to generate funds to start construction again,” Deb told me. She also said, “Ballroom dancing requires partnership; so does building a house.” In ballroom dancing, there is a term known as “framing,” which explains a dancer’s body position in terms of how she stands, holds her arms and physically connects with her partner. It’s what “builds” the dance. In construction, “framing” is the fitting together of pieces to give a structure support and shape. In this case, having our community learn how to “frame” on the dance floor will pave the way for Habitat houses to be first framed, and then finished.
Dancing has long been known to bring people together, and after the dance classes are completed, there will be an actual dance! The Boogie Shoes Bash and will be held on Saturday, June 3rd, from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. The band is Trippin’ Dixie and the place is Revival, recently renovated by First Presbyterian Church and located right across the street at 303 West Washington in Athens. Cost for tickets for age 10 and up is $10, $12 at the door, and children under 10 can get in for $5. All proceeds go to Habitat.
Another way that Habitat for Humanity builds community is through the ReStore, which is located at 17505 U.S. Hwy 72 West in Athens. The ReStore has three primary goals/functions:
Generate revenue to fund the construction of decent affordable homes in Limestone County
Reduce the pressure on local landfills by accepting donations of useable building materials, furniture, appliances, and household goods
Help customers save money by offering items at affordable prices
The store is open to the public Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. Donations are accepted during store hours, and Habitat is now able to process vehicle donations. The ReStore is managed by William Darracott.
The largest Habitat project is located on Adell Place, a cul-de-sac of variously styled homes located just off Brownsferry Street, not far from the Wellness Center. “We have one more lot on Adell (which is also known as Hope Place subdivision) and we also have property located in other areas of the county,” said Deb.
Habitat for Humanity is indeed all about true hope. If you want to be a part of it, come learn to dance, or, if you already know how, come to the dance. Your “frame” will help frame the next build.
To register for the dance classes or for more information on anything mentioned in this article, please call the Habitat office at 256-230-6001 or the ReStore at 256-444-1050.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner